11 in 11

Posted in LifestyleMy Diary
11 in 11
11 in 11
11 in 11

Photography by Cox Weddings

I feel a bit left out because all the blogs I follow are doing a best of 2011 post in some way or another, and with c&é being only 4 months old I am obviously not capable of doing that. I did, however, learn significantly about myself in the past 12 months. I think it’s safe to say the last 365 days have been the hardest in my life.

  1. I made that transition from a college graduate to a professional adult. For some reason, when I moved to DC after I graduated, I held onto every little bit of my days in college. My recent trip back to my alma mater proved that I have graduated from that stage and walked into a new world, which I will call home.

  2. I found myself. In college, I majored in international studies and focused on the Middle East region. I learned Arabic, covered a survey history course, studied abroad and traveled through the region. One thing, however, made me realize: I didn’t know what I wanted to do post-graduation. I needed a guide to career education! It’s so easy to follow what someone tells you to do, but that is never the right thing to do [in my opinion]. I found that the advise I sought from friends and family just didn’t match my interests and my conscious was telling me to run away from others’ voices. I came across The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, and it changed my life. I wanted to guide people, as I was often misguided, I wanted to guide people in the direction they should follow. My career choice proves just that.

  3. I sought adventure. Even though, I’ve traveled alone extensively before this year, my trip to Spain in May was particularly noteworthy. I had gone out of my element to a country I was not familiar with, a language I was no familiar with, or customs I was not familiar with. It was a delight. I had learned a lot about myself from staying in hostels, meeting people from all around the world with fresh perspectives. I grew by acquiring knowledge and opinions from people with varied backgrounds.

  4. Expanded my horizons. From social media to the kitchen to languages, I’ve expanded my knowledge base and changed it to be more inclusive. I had so many dietary restrictions, that I forced on myself, but we only live once. On top of that, I took particular interest in Oenology [the study of wine], and learned about variations, pairings, and culinary techniques. I learned that, expanding your knowledge helps you become more well rounded [obvious] and less exclusive. You are more open to try new things and take advantages of places and occasions.

  5. Made lasting friendships. I feel like this age of social media, we become numb to the idea of relationships. We don’t realize how lucky we are to be able to get in contact with people from all over the world on one simple website, Facebook. The idea of easy access and communication is remarkable. My mom tells me that when she moved to America, from India, she would call her parents’ once a month and was only able to talk to them for 5 minutes. She wrote letters and sent cards instead. I’m thankful for Mark Zuckerberg. My friends through college, is a given, but I’ve made friends as I traveled and through this little thing called a blog. I am especially excited about 2012 because of you. You have made this happen.

  6. I overcame the roller-coaster of emotions. During my transition from my internship to the job, I was thrown into my career’s wild. Given documents to translate [from English to Arabic] when I was still mediocre with the language. I was frustrated because I wanted to go to grad school, but thought it was never written in the cards for me. I was often upset because I felt so isolated from the social world. The stars have aligned, and after late night and early mornings: I have become a certified interpreter for Arabic [a language I started just learning in August 2007], I am attending graduate schools [TBD] for a MA in international development, and reached out to so many people through my blog and my experiences.

  7. Took caution in my health. I never really worked out in the past. I always got by with dance, soccer and some random activities. When I graduated from college, I realized I needed to focus more on myself than others. It’s that time in my life where I’m growing and still exploring. After trying a dietary cleanse late this summer, I realized I wanted to do it over and over again. I found my work out routine and my running momentum. Yoga, a long run, power workout, clean appetite, with just bits of sprinkles on top for sweets-I think I have it down.

  8. Set and met goals. Picture this. You’re at the starting line with competitors at your level, and when the gun goes off, everyone is running passed you. I went through this this year. No one knows about it, but my family. I was too nervous and actually ashamed to talk about it. I wanted everything to fall into place, like it always has, but I felt like I was running in the wrong direction. People were continuously asking me what I was doing with my life. Seriously, in those words. I felt hurt, confused, annoyed, angry, anxious and like a failure. But, I saw the fruits of my hard work. It happened slowly, but it came. I thought I had set my goals too high, but with a lot of ambition, I overcame all those negative emotions.

  9. I think self-dependency is the best trait to have. In the past, my dad never booked my flights, filled my gas, changed a tire, oh the list can go on. I found it annoying because all my friends’ parents’ would do all these things plus more for their children. Now, I realize that there is so much to learn from the people we call parents. Actually, I always knew that, but my parents have pushed me especially this year to become an independent woman.

  10. Gained some courage. This one is easy to explain, really. With all that I have explained above, I think it is safe to say that I have gotten more courageous from all my experiences. I feel like the hardships my family endured in the past, the tears from all the failures and the sweat from hard work has gotten me here today. 2011, you were a rough one.

  11. Final number one. Learned to appreciate. Now, this is probably where you think I’m a horrible person because you think I didn’t appreciate people until this year. Wrong. I’ve always appreciated people and admired the ones that have done something exceptional. Never have I ever really felt for people, places and experiences. I learned to appreciate the little things in life. Never expect something and you will be a happy camper. It’s so easy to say that you’ll appreciate the little things, but we live in a materialistic world. There are tens of thousands of people who have limited access to a computer, phone, TV. Take a look at everything around you in a 5 foot radius. For me, there’s an iPhone, Mac laptop, New York Times, digital camera, notebook, a rose gold watch, a dining table with a piping hot home cooked meal, and a roof. Learn to appreciate what you have.

2012, I’m ready for you. [I feel like Katniss from The Hunger Games]

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